Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Living in the Present: Rules Governing the Present Tense


No tense in the English language is used more than the simple present. When something is happening right now, at this precise moment, or if something is happening regularly, the PRESENT TENSE is your go-to tense. During your IELTS training, you will likely be using the simple present tense most of the time. Depending on the person, the simple present tense of the verb is formed by using the root form or by adding -s or -es to the base form of the verb

Camille hates going to the dentist.
Danish goes to church every Sunday.

The second is an example of a habitual action or occurrence expressed using the present tense. If however, we want to express a temporary action that is currently happening, we use the present continuous form:

Danish can’t answer your call right now because she is preparing for church.


IELTS UKVI

SIMPLE PRESENT IN THE DIFFERENT PERSONS

As we are well aware, the English language uses three persons: the first person (I, we), the second person (you), and the third person (he, she, it, they). To easily guide you in the conjugation of these various forms, here is a quick shortcut.

Let us use the verb live.

First-person singular
I live
Second-person singular
You live
Third-person singular
He/she/it lives (add -s)
First-person plural
We live
Second-person plural
You live
Third-person plural
They live


Take note that for the third-person plural, some verbs add -es to their base form instead (e.g., buzzes, tosses, latches, etc.).

A special case is the verb to be. It is an irregular verb that changes its form entirely as you conjugate it.

First-person singular
I am
Second-person singular
You are
Third-person singular
He/she/it is
First-person plural
We are
Second-person plural
You are
Third-person plural
They are

NEGATING THE PRESENT

We use the verb do together with the word not to form the simple negative form of a verb (do/does + not + root form of the verb).

Danish does not go to church on Saturdays.

For the verb to be, we add the word, not after the verb (to be + not):

She is not coming today.

FINAL REMINDER:

Confusion during writing often comes from mistakes in contracting verb conjugations in the present tense. Writers often interchange “your” (possessive pronoun) and “you’re” (a contraction of you are).

The same can be said when placing the apostrophe in contractions of simple present negative verbs. We don’t, not we do’nt, and it doesn’t, not it does’nt.

A quick tip in contractions is that the apostrophe is used to replace the deleted vowel, in this case, the “o” in not.

There are lots more to learn about the present (tense). Boost your IELTS UKVI preparation by mastering its usage.

SOURCES
“Simple Present Tense.” Woodward English. Accessed on July 9, 2019. Accessed from: https://www.grammar.cl/Present/Simple.htm

“Simple Present.” Grammarly Blog. Accessed on July 9, 2019. Accessed from:  https://www.grammarly.com/blog/simple-present/

“To Be - Present Tense.” Woodward English. Accessed on July 9, 2019. Accessed from: https://www.grammar.cl/Present/To_Be.htm

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